An Interview with Owner Maria Goldman – Marketing, Sales & Hospitality
Tell us how your business began and how you came up with the name.
Maria: Frolicking Frog Cellars, founded in 2000, believes “our fine wines begin with nature’s blessings and our virtuous expectations”. We’re located on the west side of Atascadero on scenic State Highway 41 West, on Frog Pond Mountain. Our winery production is nestled among great oaks with a coastal influence. All of our wines are produced and influenced with passionate traditional wine making, all handcrafted and cellared at the winery.
Our tasting room opened in May, 2011 in Downtown Paso Robles on 12th & Park Street. This is where you can visit us, taste our wines and hear our story.
Our market of distribution is primarily in California. We also do a few out of state shipments in order to satisfy our valued wine club members. Our vision is that wine tasting is an adventurous journey of discovery. “You know what you like” and we want to deliver that unique wine experience in every glass we pour. Our winery sends out 3 bottles twice a year to our wine club members, in the Spring and Fall. Stu is a goldsmith, artist & winemaker, while I tend to the marketing, sales and hospitality. Together, we’ve been making wine since 1989, with our first wines placed in a Home Wine Mid State Fair competition in 1990 made from an established vineyard on our property, of old Mission grapes. We consider the passionate journey of our handcrafted winemaking, “an expression of art with virtuous expectations”. Our first commercial vintage was made in 2000, the wine was from a Cabernet Sauvignon small family owned sustainable vineyard in the Hog Canyon area of Paso Robles. Our wines have garnered many awards in local and out-of-state wine competitions. The winery has bottled 18 vintages to date, of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon Rose, a variety of Red Blends and a late harvest Zinfandel with an annual 450 case production. All of our fruit is sourced predominately from the Paso Robles appellation.
What’s a day like in your shoes?
Maria: Depends on the time of year. There’s always marketing and sales days, Thursday to Saturday are Tasting Room days, events to prepare for, winery work and vineyard farming, ABC & TTB office work days… All of this creates full operational business days among two passionate owner/operators.
What motivates you?
Maria: Living life to the fullest in every way, every day. This might sound cliché, but with Stu being a cancer survivor (this year it will be 10 years) we’ve been given clarity to the true meaning. As far as our winery goes, the passion of wine itself and how our wine speaks to people!
What are a couple things you’d like customers to know?
Maria: Stu and I took many Cuesta and Cal Poly wine courses. I also completed a Level One Sommelier course from the Court of Masters to enhance our backgrounds and we’ve gathered years of good trial and error. There is a lot to know about wine, but most importantly, ones’ journey in wine discovery starts with the steps of knowing what you like. With our wine, we’re telling the story about ourselves. Our wines feature soft tannins, small lots and the nuances of that year’s harvest, encompassing nature’s blessings and the virtuous expectations of the winemaker’s quest for perfection.
What’s on the horizon for Frolicking Frog?
Maria: Next year will be our 20 year anniversary and we are planning on some exciting wine releases and galas!
What are your business’ ambitions?
Maria: Our ambitions are that we remain strong among the growing competition of wineries. Staying on course with our planning of case productions, winery events, building club memberships and other tasks that define our winery goals. We are fortunate to have many dedicated long time club members that enjoy our wines and love our story.
To wrap up, what’s your favorite thing about Atascadero?
Maria: We love the small city vibe that still maintains a sense of community. This was an important factor for us when we decided to stake our claim here. We can see that Atascadero truly has some growth on the horizon, evolving along with the central coast while also maintaining that down-home feel.